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A relative has removed a will from a safety...

Resolved • Response time 4 minutes

21 Oct 2021

A relative has removed a will from a safety deposit box.
JA: Can you confirm which state they're in? It will help the Lawyer give you a specific answer since laws can vary by location.
Customer: Alabama
JA: Thanks for all these details. What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: one of the persons three children removed it without the knowledge or consent of the person or siblings.
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21 Oct 2021

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Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

Hello – my name is ***** ***** I am an attorney with over ten years in private practice. My goal is to provide you with excellent service. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Is this person withholding the will?  Has the person who wrote the will passed?

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
They have not passed but has dementia. The person was the last one who signed to opened the box. Another sibling said they gave it back to their Mother, the person whose will it is, but that was 5 years ago. We just found out it had been removed.
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

So the sibling claims to have given it back to the mother, who has dementia?  I am assuming that the will cannot be located?

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
Yes
21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
no we have not found it.
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

That is unfortunate.  Sadly, there is no requirement with respect to the will being filed with a governmental agency, so unless you are able to discover it with a search, there may be no way to recover it.

Without a will, the case will have to go through probate court (meaning that a court will have to decide how the assets are to be distributed, unless the parties come to an agreement).

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
Can there be any legal action because the will was removed from the box without consent?
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

There will have to be legal action in probate court because there is no will.  The fact that the will was removed (and then lost) will be an important fact in the court case.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
Will that have to be once they have decreased?
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

Yes, that is correct.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
They also removed a land deed & the power of attorney forms. Can anything legally be done for that now? Theft charge or obstruction?
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

If it can be shown that they took these documents with the intent to permanently deprive others of this property (rather than merely losing them), then it would potentially be larceny.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
Would we need to go to law enforcement or an attorney?
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

Larceny would be reported to law enforcement.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
Thank you.
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John

You are welcome.

Customer rating:
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner
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21 Oct 2021
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